Saturday, September 1, 2007

Richard Hamilton

Before I knew about the collage artists of Dada, I was into the work of Richard Hamilton. Perhaps my oldest art pal, Ross Sutherland, turned me on to him in high school. I love the way he combines found photographic materials with paint. The painting is very impressive. It is true that he doesn’t have a lot of rough, expressive edges, something which might be held against him, but I love it all, including the slickness. When we think of collage, he’s not the first to come to mind, but him, along with Eduardo Paolozzi, contributed immensely to Pop Art.

I’m pretty sure it was at the Clocktower in NYC where I got to see, sometime around 1990, his famous exhibition with the Independent Group's This is Tomorrow. It was so great to see a show all redone like that, one I had read so much about. It was also weird to see it all reduced down to that fairly small collage: Just what is it that makes today's homes so different, so appealing? Such a small piece to pack a far-reaching, big punch.

He made some great statements about men, women and marketed style. His series Towards a definitive statement on the coming trends in men's wear and accessories was great, as are his Fashion Plates of women.

The August Art Review has a fun interview with him, including works that he now has up in Venice. He is doing more interiors, sort of like the one above but way different. The new works seem to me to be almost Classical in their posturing but also glacially contemporary. I am not sure what to do think, but I am actually going to see them in person soon.


martin said...

hey! i have had richard hamilton very much on my mind recently, and am/was making a similar post.

i think i started thinking about him in relation to richard prince... (i've been looking at a lot of prince).

Anonymous said...

I know you wrote about Prince a bit on your blog. I'd like to hear more about the connection between the two artists. Hamilton seems more cool and analytical but maybe I am wrong about that.